I don’t know about you, but my week’s been a cluster so far, though I am kind of enjoying it! Well, that’s only because my cluster is centered around dark chocolate, and the salty-sweetness of pretzel pieces, marshmallows, dried cranberries, honey roasted cashews & sea salt. Now that’s my kind of cluster, AND one that requires no baking.
These may not look strikingly beautiful upon first glance, but beauty sometimes is on the inside, and that’s just the case with these lil guys…
I was thinking a little something sweet post dinner sounded nice, but the baking part however did not. I looked through my kitchen stores and realized I already had all it would take to make something simply scrumptious. One of my favorite flavors is the contrast of dark chocolate and sea salt. I also fancy some chocolate covered pretzels from time-to-time and so, we’re going to slap those two together and upgrade our average trail mix! These candy-like clusters are difficult to stop sampling… I can tell you from experience.
All we have to do is get a bowl, our ingreds, and gently melt some dark chocolate morsels on the stove. Then we use our freezer to set them up, and we’ll opt to store then in the fridge for extended dessert deliciousness…
- 15 oz dark chocolate morsels (~ 1.5 bags)
- 1.5 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken in half or smaller
- 1.5 cups honey roasted cashews (mine were salted also)
- 1.5 cups miniature marshmallows
- ⅓ cup, mini mixed chocolate chip morsels (optional)
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries (mine were sweetened)
- 2-3 pinches sea salt (to your preference)
- In large mixing bowl combine: broken pretzels sticks, cashews, marshmallows, mini mixed chips, dried cranberries, set aside.
- on large baking sheet, or two smaller, line with wax paper.
- In double boiler or small pot fixed with a glass bowl on top, gently melt the dark chocolate morsels over low heat until smooth.
- Combine melted dark chocolate and dry mix well.
- Add pinches of sea salt, combine.
- with large spoon scoop about 2 T worth of cluster mix onto wax lined baking sheet(s).
- Note that mixture will be messy and you'll have to form the clusters.
- Place formed clusters on lined sheets, into freezer until chocolate sets (30-50 minutes).
- Transfer into a wax lined air tight container in single layers. Store in fridge and eat whenever!
These are slightly reminiscent of chocolate haystacks or candy turtles, but ours are virtually zero fuss. You can swap out the ingreds for anything you like in a regular trail mix. I picked my favorite and next time might make some in dark & another batch in milk chocolate. I will say the added sea salt really makes this one crave-worthy, so remember to sprinkle some in the mix before assembling and freezing!
What a cluster these are indeed. Make some for your kiddos, co-workers, or maybe just for yourself with a nice glass of Merlot…